I was cleaning out my window wells one day recently when I made a most interesting discovery. An adult toad, the largest we’ve ever seen at our place, had gotten down into the well.
Since I’d asked the local Naturalist Club earlier on about our big swarm of little toads — obviously this year’s crop — I sent a picture of this impressive big fella to Rick Howie, who knows all about these things. He confirmed it’s a Western Toad, which is an at-risk species.
“Thanks for the toad shot, Mel. This is a rather striking and surprising individual,” Rick wrote me back. “I have never seen a Western Toad coloured like this, and neither has one of my herpetological associates who has studied toads in many places. They are noted for being highly variable, however. Very intriguing indeed.”
Since toads are much better at getting into window wells than they are at getting out of them, I took this guy into an area close by where there are logs and other good things to crawl under so he can hibernate for the winter.
And I’ve put toad ladders in the window wells in case others gets the same idea he did.